Proving that Sandra Bullock is having the best year of her career, the football drama The Blind Side rose to first place at the box office this weekend with $20.4 million, according to early estimates by Hollywood.com Box Office. After settling for second place behind The Twilight Saga: New Moon the past two weeks, Blind Side showed its legs by dropping only 49 percent and overtaking the vampire phenomenon. Blind Side, which received mediocre reviews but obtained a rare “A+” rating from CinemaScore moviegoers, has reached a cumulative gross of $129.3 million. It should have no trouble passing The Proposal‘s $164 million total to become Bullock’s biggest hit.
New Moon slid 63 percent in its third weekend, draining $15.7 million for second place. That puts the teenage romantic fantasy at $255.6 million, with an even scarier worldwide total of $570.1 million. In third place with $9.7 million was the new drama Brothers, starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Natalie Portman. Two family film holdovers occupied fourth and fifth place: A Christmas Carol (No. 4 with $7.5 million) and Old Dogs (No. 5 with $6.9 million). Carol, which debuted in early November to a somewhat disappointing $30.1 million, has since displayed admirable box-office stamina. Unfortunately for the Jim Carrey movie, James Cameron’s Avatar will be stealing most of Carol‘s high-priced IMAX and 3-D screens on Dec. 18.
With the exception of Brothers, the weekend’s other wide-release debuts were left in the dust. The heist movie Armored skidded into sixth place with $6.6 million, while the Robert De Niro holiday comedy Everybody’s Fine barely stuffed its stocking with $4 million — enough for tenth place. However, the weekend’s true lump of coal was the horror comedy Transylmania, which grossed a lifeless $274,000 from 1,007 theaters. Its per-screen average of $272 means that, at each theater, approximately 37 people attended Transylmania this weekend. If one figures that the movie played about five times per day, or 15 times the whole weekend, then each screening of Transylmania attracted an average of two or three moviegoers.
In limited release, the new George Clooney comedic drama Up in the Air showed no signs of turbulence, cashing in $1.2 million from just 15 theaters — an average of $79,000 per screen. The Oscar hopeful, which collected the National Board of Review’s best picture award last week, expands nationwide on Christmas Day.